Town tour highlights disabled needs

The disabled tour party
The disabled tour party
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A DISABILITY group has started working with Hastings Borough Council in a bid to make the town centre more accessible.

Members of the Hastings and Rother Disability Forum (HRDF) met with the deputy leader of the local authority for a tour of Hastings’ main shopping areas to highlight the plight of the town’s disabled population, who often face a battle just to move from shop to shop.

Councillor Jay Kramer, who is also the authority’s head of equalities, was also joined by a raft of senior council staff for the walk-about.

Heading the group was Rosemary Iddenden, the chairman of the disability forum. She explained to the Observer: “It is very easy for the needs of disabled people to be overlooked.

“A lowered kerb can make all the difference to someone in a wheelchair, and a badly placed sign can be dangerous to someone who has only limited sight.

“It was very good indeed for members of our group to take the councillors, and council officers, around the town centre to point out the various problems that we encounter.”

And Cllr Kramer said that in the wake of the meeting, council would do all it could to make life easier for disabled locals.

She said: “Unfortunately we do take so much for granted. It was a salutary lesson to have the many different hazards facing disabled people pointed out to us. Making the town centre more accessible helps everybody, including those with pushchairs, heavy shopping.

“Having done the tour, we will now work with colleagues in the council, and other groups like Town Centre Management, to take action to deal with the various issues raised.”

Details on volunteer-run HRDF call 01424 201201.